Garden villages or settlements are the latest wheeze by government aiming to solve the ‘housing crisis’. There have been six approved already; fourteen more announced this week, and more in the pipeline. But will they work? If by ‘work’ we mean building genuinely new settlements, complete with infrastructure, amenities, culture, well-paid employment and economic growth.
Critics of the new garden settlements will no doubt be condemned as nimbyish, immigrant-hating kippers. The combined forces of the Mail and Nigel Farage have, of course, been complaining that the UK is the ‘most crowded country in Europe’, a claim apparently not correct in the detail. Scotland, Wales, the North and the South West all have low population densities. And if you remove London from the picture, even England only ranks about ninth in Europe. A more nuanced take is needed (read more on Interurban Lines).